Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meditation Prayer

I was meditating this morning as I try to do each and every morning before work, and found it turned into prayer instead of quiet meditation. Monkey mind is always with me during these sessions, even more so these days. Lately it is really hard to quiet and calm my mind. Chanting helps. Mind you I always move from meditation to another position where I Do pray and ask for guidance and healing.

But this morning nothing was working and I found myself praying only. I pray to all powers - Gods, Goddesses, Angels, you name it. Broaden the base so to speak for more coverage? So I didn't fight it and I prayed. I prayed for a quiet mind (!); I prayed for my business: I prayed for my husband to find peace these days in his hectic and overwhelming job; I prayed for my older son, the musician (quite talented), to find his success and happiness; and I prayed for my own peace of mind.

This liminal phase I am in is quite frustrating. I feel all mushy and not quite cooked for the next phase. And I never give myself time for these transitions. Like Veruka Salt, "I want it NOW!"

I also need a vacation desperately and luckily and finally am soon to get it! Yeah!

According to the website Meditation Truth,
            in some traditions the words prayer and meditation are
            used interchangeably.There are Buddhist and Catholic
            and Hindu and Jewish meditation practices that involve
            repeating or focusing on or contemplating some religious
            passage or idea.

According to Brother Aleksei (,
            when you choose to combine prayer and meditation, that
            is to take a specific request into the space of your
            communion with God, always begin with
            acknowledging and affirming the Presence.
(Okay, so my presence includes EVERYONE – angels, goddesses, etc.)
          Then make a conscious interior movement in your heart to
           surrender your will and meditate on your request. Meditate
          from a feeling as if your request has been already granted
           while immersing your heart in a deep emotion of gratitude and
           love. Your request will immediately begin to take form. It may
          take some time before you can see the result, but have faith
          that it is gestating, just like a seed you plant into a fertile soil.
          Cultivate it, protect it from any doubts and fears.
(I have done this. I HAVE planted seeds. Good to know I am on the right path! I like this next one…)
           Do not dig up the seed to check if it has sprouted yet.

If I continue to meditate and believe in the prayer (seed), the seed will sprout, maybe not in the way you originally though because, remember, it has a life of its own now.

So, I guess I am okay with this morning’s prayer meditation. I was always told to quiet the mind when meditating, clear the mind of thoughts, ideas, let them go when they pop in (monkey mind!). But it is also okay for the meditation to be something else. Who am I to fight it? Let it be what it wants to be. Let go of all expectations and “it” will happen.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Death Becomes Him

The proud mama presents the younger son's video debut, a music video to a Herbie Hancock tune.  Like mother, like son - we both LOVE zombies and horror films!

This is definitely both nature and nurture in action. Thanks for watching!
Max DeGenova presents Death Becomes Him.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Have Become My Mother.....

It is done, complete. I have become my mother.  Remember when we were younger and always said, "I will never be like you, mother."  Well, it is time I eat my words.  It appears that I am wired by some genetic code to be just like mom.  Damn that DNA!!!!

Okay, let's not get too worked up about this.  It has been slow to come and I am getting constant reminders of why I am becoming yiayia (Greek for grandma).  My sons call them yiayia moments.  My husband calls them Dee-isms.  And I have grown tired of them reminding me of my own request of them to put me out on the water if I ever become like Dee.

So I am driving to the gym this morning, talking to my hubby, and I notice that the workout pants I have on have holes up and down the now paper thin crotch area.  I hate to admit as well that these pants are probably as old as my oldest son (24 next Monday).  It was at that moment that I had officially become Dee.  My husband gleefully reminded me of my mother's polyester brown track suit
that she wore for years and years and years and.....well, I think you get it.....

My hubby didn't believe me when I said they were going in the garbage as soon as I got to the gym.  He said he was going to find them in my drawer and on me again and again.  Sorry, dude, they are now in the garbage can going to a landfill!  I am ashamed that I didn't give them to Goodwill, but I was scared they they WOULD end up in my drawer again so they were immediately disposed of.

But it got me to thinking more about our similarities.  I, like Mother, can no longer remember people's names.  It used to give me a chuckle when Dee would ask me who the person was that was coming towards her as she was smiling that fake, I have no idea who the hell you are, smile, at them.  I would wait till the very last minute when she was gritting profanities though that smile and then give her the name.

Not too long ago, we were at my son's gig and my brother was there.  My brother in law came in and had never met my  own brother, who asked who he was.  And at that moment, I lost the name.  It was gone.  A person I see all the time.  Just gone from my brain and nothing was going to get it back.  It didn't come back to me till an hour later in the middle of a song, when it popped out of my mouth, like turret's syndrome.  Of course, I was very excited that my brain still worked.

So, it has happened, and I now have to keep an eye out for the trip to the ocean where my sons might
offer me a solo boat ride.  I WILL fight it all the way to the loony bin, of course.  That is till I can't remember any more why I am wearing a brown track suit or sitting in a boat without a paddle.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's YOUR Talent?

I've started meditating regularly now after a brief hiatus and as I was sitting in my room ( created from my son's old room) and it dawned on me the real reason I have moved from one project to the next throughout my life, racking up a fine array of jobs, businesses, and other odd/interesting projects.

I was always told I couldn't stick with anything for any period of time.  I was always changing jobs.  Sticking with a job for a year and a half was a long time for me so when I made it to the 3 year mark with The Botanic Garden, everyone patted me on the back for sticking it out.

Well, it wasn't sticking it out actually.  I t was an array of different jobs and projects within one job position.  When I can create new projects on a regular basis, I can stick around forever!  And that is my talent.  Creating.

My husband is a poet.  My eldest son is a creative musical genius (sorry, I'm a proud mom) and my younger son is a film and music producer in the making.  Oh, and they both can write some pretty darn good poetry.

While I can say that I have now picked up the pen on a regular basis after catching the writers bug, it wasn't always that way.  I barely read as a kid (wait - I knew how to read....I just didn't). I listened to a lot of music and played in various bands and did some acting.  I certainly didn't write much of anything except lyrics to go with the music I wrote.  What I do is come up with some pretty large ideas (often) (no, wait - very often) and eventually manifest them.

That's what I do.  I create businesses, events, large endeavors like last year's art project with Dominican University's design and merchandising program for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The fun is definitely in the creation.  And when it is created and no more can be done with the idea, it's time to move on to the next idea.  (They usually are stacked up, one after another!)  There is never a shortage of ideas.  And if I am in top form, rested, my brain can spit ideas out at top speed!

So that is why I have never lasted very long in one position.  And I am okay with that.  Do I get bored?  Well, yeah, probably.  When most people are revelling in their successes, my brain is already onto the next project.  The fun was in the creation.  I'm happy to leave the revelling to others.

But like I've been saying, I've learned to sit with an idea after it is birthed, let it grow on it's own with some fertilization now and then.  As a gardener, we know that there is that time period after the seed has been planted in the soil.  Nothing is happening on the surface; nothing is required except watering once the seed is planted.  That germination process that happens in the dark is the amazing thing about seeds.  They have everything they need to sprout within their little seed bodies.  And some will sprout while others won't.  That is something we, as gardeners, have no control of.

So once an idea is "planted", it needs to be left to its own devices to sprout on its own.  The great thing, though, about ideas, versus seeds, is that you have no idea what will sprout. It will always resemble the original idea in some form, but as it grows, it has its own life.  So I've learned to let these ideas form with little input from me.  And it's amazing what happens.  It's that liminal stage of betwixt and between one stage and the next.  The excitement is in not knowing exactly what will happen.

I took a stand up comedy class two years ago, with the idea of telling funny stories as opposed to jokes.  I was told this was not real stand up.  But my idea was planted.  And this year, four of us created a kind of prose/poetry theatrical performance piece.  And it is growing still.

So, when someone asks what my talents are, I will forgo the typical musician, singer, horticulturist labels of the past and proudly exclaim, "I create!"  And then move on to the next project........

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Liminal Stage Continues

At the beginning of the year I felt a surge coming of energy and was feeling like I was going to have to hold on to my seat this year as it zoomed forward unabated. At first, there was a period (short as it was) of rest. I was so tired from a crazy year prior that I thought a rest was well deserved, at least in the confines of my own home considering I knew I was unable to "get away".

I asked my son who had moved out a year prior, if I could "redo" his room and make it into my own meditation/reading/writing room. He had been out of college for a couple of years and his room was still the way he left it and it needed a makeover. The makeover was easy. I didn't want to disturb the soul and essence that still existed in the room. This is the room of a gifted artist. A piece of his creative genius exists here. This has become my favorite room in a matter of months. It feels as if I have re-energized what was already in there and infused it with my own. The whole family feels it. The energy seems to have grown.

So I have done a lot of meditating in that room since then. My rest was taken there. I was thinking about all of the ideas I have had in the past year and recently looked at a sort of "to do" list I created prior to the new year. But those ideas that wanted to be nurtured into creation this year have taken a back seat. Not to anything in particular. But the urgency to move in that direction has ceased. Oh, the ideas are still there. I know they never go away.

They have been birthed and I know from experience that they are always being tended to, nurtured, watered, fed and are growing. If I let them be, they will always have the essence of the original idea, only with their own twist. It is fun to see how they transform from the original idea. I've learned not to hold on so tightly to an idea that I stifle it.

I recently came off of a very busy month at the store (thank you universe for looking down on me!) and immediately went on a buying trip in New York. I have not had real time off in two months. Actually, since probably mid January. And I am plumb tuckered out. I wonder if the exhaustion is at the core of those ideas being put on shelves for a while. My angel therapy practitioner told me yesterday that now was a time of holding, not pushing, letting things happen. In order to get an idea in action, you need to create a little heat, a little movement. to kind of get the ball rolling. And then that heat stirs things up and you basically sit back and watch.

Oh, I've created a bit of friction lately, so the fire has been started. And now I'm in a kind of holding pattern, the liminal stage, still. A time of transition when we stand “betwixt and between” one state and another. Kind of like on a fence, although you aren't trying to make the decision as to which way to step. It kind of does it for you. Awkward, yes. The state of neutrality/ ambiguity until we reach full consciousness of the next place, the next stage, whatever you wish to call it. But I am okay with it. Probably because I am so exhausted, I can't fight it or push it where I'd like anyway.

So I think I'll go back into my room. I think it's calling me anyway. I'll release into that betwixt and between state (like I have a choice anyway....) and just flow with it. Not my usual mode of operation, but I think I can get used to it, letting go. And watch what happens....